Murray Lubin was interviewed by Emma Morgenstern on July 13, 2011 at the Yiddish Book Center.
Murray Lubin grew up in New York shifting his time between the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His mother was born in Poland and was the last one of her family to arrive in the United States. Murray carefully explains the system of saving money to bring an individual family member over to the United States at the start of his interview. He also explains how his paternal grandfather decided to leave Russia during the 1917 revolutions, a decision he made with the help of his rabbi. Because of this decision, Murray’s father was born in the United States.
Murray explains that growing up both of his grandparents were Hasidic, but his immediate family was less religious. As a child Murray attended yeshiva, and did all his work in Yiddish. This changed, however, when he left yeshiva, for his parents wanted to learn English and Americanize. Moreover, after the eighth grade, Murray and his cousins decided to leave the yeshiva and instead attended public school. In this new setting, Murray recalls being surrounded by all different sort of people—a new experience for a child who grew up surrounded by Jews. Murray recounts stories of anti-Semitism and how such comments shaped him for the rest of his life.
The latter half of Murray’s interview focuses on how he became a printer. Murray describes how his father helped him get his first job, and the subsequent jobs he held thereafter. Murray details a number of printing shops he worked in, some unionized, some not; at one point Murray had over 10 W-2 forms. Murray provides meticulous detail about the printing business and the machinery, providing interesting details about the times when the technology changed, and how he stayed abreast in his field.
As the interview comes to a close, Murray describes how he started his own printing business; a move that was carefully planned in hopes of providing for his growing family. Mixing in stories of using Yiddish type print with the advent of the computer, Murray provides a history of the printing world. The interview ends, however, with Murray reflecting on his return to Judaism with the birth of his kids. He advises young Jews to learn about their past so that they can know who they are in their future.
To learn more about the Wexler Oral History Project, visit: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/tell-your-story
To cite this interview: Murray Lubin Oral History Interview, interviewed by Emma Morgenstern, Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project, Karmazin Recording Studio, Yiddish Book Center, July 13, 2011. Video recording, http://archive.org/details/MurrayLubin13july2011YiddishBookCenter ( [date accessed] )